Sadie Robertson turned to God when she was feeling bad about the way she looked.
The former “Duck Dynasty” star, 23, recently spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the time following her 2014 appearance on “Dancing With the Stars,” during which, she began to feel bad about her body.
At just 17 years old, Robertson placed second on the competition series and worked hard to get there, but once the show was over, things changed for the young star.
“During ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ you work out so much and you’re dancing 24/7, so no wonder you have the body of your lifetime!” she told the outlet. “I had this body that I never thought I’d have. I had a six-pack for two weeks, but then Thanksgiving hit and it went away. People started to comment.”
Such comments were “innocent” at first, she said, but eventually but her struggles with body image arrived once she began to look “a little different.”
“There were people in my life, who were just really negative influences, that would say things that were not uplifting about the way that I looked and how I needed to maintain the body that I had,” the star shared. “It was so wrong. I was insecure at the time, so I believed them and thought, ‘Oh, I need to push it.'”
Her foray into modeling at the time wasn’t helpful either.
“People would say things like, ‘Oh, if you lost 10 more pounds, you would look like a real model,'” recalled the author. “I was literally 115 pounds and already unhealthy. That just messed my mind up.”
Such criticism led to Robertson developing “a really unhealthy view” of her own body, which she thought about incessantly.
“You can’t stop thinking about your body, how you look, how you should eat. You’re counting the calories, you’re sizing up your legs and all those different things. You’re just kind of completely gripped by it and that’s kind of where I was,” Robertson explained to Entertainment Tonight. “I would look at myself in the mirror and I would think, ‘I’m fat,’ and I was not at all.”
She noted that such struggles can affect “a lot of other people around you,” and revealed that she turned to her faith to pull her out of the funk.
“I pretty much just took the word as it was from the Bible,” she said. “It talks about how you’re beautifully and wonderfully created.”
Robertson said that her faith helped her turn her point of view around.
“I started praising God and thanking him for the way that I looked, instead of looking in the mirror and saying, ‘Ugh, I wish my arms were thinner, I wish my legs were more toned, I wish I had her eyebrows’ … whatever it was that I would tell myself,” she recalled. “Instead I would tell myself, ‘I am so thankful that I have this. I’m so thankful that my legs actually serve the purpose that they should and that they’re able to run, that my arms are able to carry things. That my stomach one day, hopefully, will be able to carry a baby.’ Just what we’re actually designed and created for.”
The exercise helped Robertson to stop “thinking about [herself] as much.”
“It allowed me to be able to think of others, and how I can serve them with the body I’ve been given,” shared the star.
Her view of her own body isn’t the only reason Robertson turned to her faith after finishing “DWTS,” as she felt at the time that she didn’t know “what to do” with her life from there.
“I was in this place where my life dramatically changed so much. I went from living in Louisiana to now being on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ in Hollywood with 20 million people watching every week with the spotlight just literally being on me,” she remembered to the outlet. “There’s a million beautiful things that come with that … but a lot of other things come from that too. For me, I started struggling with a lot of insecurity of who I was because of a lot of people telling me who I am and not really feeling like that was me.”
She recalled feeling unable to keep up with the version of herself that “everybody loves and follows on Instagram.”
“I remember praying and saying, ‘God, I think you chose the wrong person. This makes me nervous. This makes me insecure. This is not something I’m thriving in,'” she said, adding that in that moment, she realized how important her faith would continue to be to her.
“The Lord said something so sweet to my heart. I just felt like God was saying, ‘I’m not calling you to be this perfect person. I’m actually just calling you to be a sister and a friend to those who don’t have a sister and a friend,'” said the former reality star. “I can be confident because I was created on purpose for a purpose.”
From there, Robertson felt “empowered” to move on into other endeavors, and has since started her Live Original ministry.